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Know The Warning Signs

Women and Strokes

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 Working as a critical care nurse, Callie Earlwine is trained to spot even the most subtle signs of problems in her patients.
  It's something she rarely misses in them, but recently failed to recognize in herself.  Callie was suffering from migraines, dizziness, and even tremors, all of which she thought were just signs of stress.

Callie Earlwine says "These symptoms started but never would I have contributed , at my age of 32 of having a stroke."

But that's just what happened and doctors say Callie is not alone.

Dr. Diana Greene-Chandos says " Women do not think that they are going to have a stroke. They think of it as a men's disease."

Doctor Diana Greene-Chandos is a neurologist who says women have unique risks and symptoms when it comes to stroke, but many don't know it.  Things like pregnancy and migraines can make a stroke more likely.

But a new national survey of women released by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that only 11 percent of women could identify a list of female specific risks. And 9 out of 10 didn't know women often have hiccups during a stroke.

Knowing the very first signs of a stroke is crucial, because doctors say there is only a three hour window to get to a hospital for possible life saving medicine.

Dr. Greene-Chandos says "You have to know when you're having a stroke , you have to recognize that it's a stroke and you have to get to the emergency room and receive medication.

Callie was lucky, she had her stroke at the hospital and got help immediately.  But she says she's learned that she should have listened to her body all along.

Callie says "Get checked out, get lab work done, you know.  Tell your doctor some of your symptoms.  I want to be here for my family.  I want to be here for my little girl."

 This survey also found that nearly half of all women said they don't know what risks females face after a stroke.  doctors say in addition to nerve damage and problems swallowing, depression is common among women and often keeps them from getting the rehab that's vital to their recovery.  

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